Making the Most of Opportunity
During the filming of the movie in Mexico City, the director discovered a young American, Oscar "Budd" Boetticher, who was training to be a matador. He hired him as a technical consultant. Boetticher, who taught Tyrone Power how to appear convincing as a bullfighter, said, "I showed Tyrone Power how to do the capework, but he never actually got near a bull! He wanted to but the studio simply wouldn't let him. They said he was too valuable a property." Boetticher gained valuable filmmaking experience by closing observing the director of Blood and Sand, Rouben Mamoulian and the film editor, Barbara McLean. He worked for awhile as a studio messenger and assistant director but went on to become a director, mostly Westerns and a couple bullfighting movies.
The Importance of Color
Rouben Mamoulian, director for Blood and Sand was also the director of 1935's Becky Sharp, which used the first three-strip Technicolor process. Blood and Sand was Mamoulian's second venture into color, and he wanted to use color in new, creative ways. He decided to film each scene in the colors of a great painter. The scenes were "splashed with the richness and styles of Spain's legendary artists, from hints of Murillo, Sorella, and Velasquez to the fire of Goya, El Greco and Veronese." (from The Films of Tyrone Power). For example, the bullring scenes were "in the manner Goya, the matador's dressing room after Titian, etc. If the set did not feature the right colors, Mamoulian kept a paint-filled spray can nearby for touch-ups. As Mamoulian recalled about a hospital scene, 'I thought if El Greco had painted it, it wouldn't look white, it would look green and gray, so I sprayed all the sheets and painted shadows on the walls. It looked absolutely appalling to the eye, and it really shook me because I thought I'd really ruined the set, but it came out beautifully.'" (from Turner Classic Movies )